Extract From Parliamentary Debates – Mornington Peninsula Freeway sound barriers

June 2016 public meeting in Safety Beach to protest against the increase in noise being suffered by residents

HANSARD – ADJOURNMENT – Wednesday, 22 June 2016

 

Mr DIXON (Nepean) — The matter I wish to raise is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety.

The action I seek is for the minister to make the Mornington Peninsula Freeway sound walls in the section between Safety Beach and Rosebud a funding priority.

This is probably the only urban freeway in Victoria that has no sound walls — it has houses right up to it on both sides in just about all of the places, but it has no sound walls at all.

As members can imagine, like any part of Victoria, the population is increasing, but in our area it has increased incredibly.

Peninsula Link has added to the freeway traffic, not only in terms of people commuting but also in terms of people visiting the area.

More people are living there, so there are more people in the houses that used to be holiday houses, they are living there permanently close to the freeway.

On the hours that traffic runs, residents tell me that it is quite busy up until midnight and that the traffic starts again at 5 or 5.30 in the morning.

Recently the section at Safety Beach was resurfaced, and some bright spark in VicRoads decided to put the roughest possible surface on it. The noise levels have gone through the roof on that section. Even though it is the newest surface it is incredibly noisy.

In relation to the Dromana to Rosebud section, after work by me and the community over the last number of years, we have already had VicRoads come out and test it. Most of the sections of that part of the freeway are above the acceptable noise level and should have sound walls. Instead of putting the walls up, VicRoads decided to trial, in a number of sections, different road surfaces which were quieter.

That has cut the noise down, but VicRoads engineers have told me off the record that that really only makes a 5 per cent to, at best, 20 per cent difference in terms of a reduction in sound. For some reason the monitoring of it is over three years, which I think is just a stalling tactic. I would have thought one year would be the most — you are looking at a whole year’s traffic.

The section from Safety Beach to Dromana, as I said, has just been resurfaced. I recognise the fact that VicRoads is going to rectify that mistake later this year. I also recognise the fact that VicRoads is going to work with the community and do the sound monitoring in that section. But obviously those two sections of freeway adjoin each other, therefore the decibel levels in one area are going to be the same in the other.

It is very, very important that VicRoads get on with that testing, because the case, I think, is already established and this matter is making life hell for those residents.

They think they are being treated differently from all other residents in Victoria who live anywhere near a freeway.

I think this is an urgent matter, a very important matter for the amenity and peaceful life of those people who live near the freeway — a growing number of them — and I ask the minister to make the testing and then the funding of the sound walls a priority.